Government & Communications

Attempts by governmental bodies to improve or impede communications with or between the citizenry.

America has an infrastructure bill. What happens next?

Late November 5th, the House of Representatives passed the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA). The bill now goes directly to President Biden’s desk, where it will certainly become law. America finally has a generation-defining infrastructure bill—and if the reconciliation budget comes through, too, America will begin a building spree larger than what happened during the New Deal. When landmark legislation like IIJA gets passed, it’s easy to overemphasize victories on Capitol Hill. But that’s not the case for infrastructure. Passing IIJA is only the end of the beginning.

The Senate’s year-end to-do list is ‘going to be a train wreck’

The Senate is only scheduled to be in three weeks for the rest of 2021, with a recess set to start on December 10. There’s almost no chance that schedule holds at this point, with the Democratic majority facing a to-do list more daunting than a Black Friday sales rush. Congress has to fund the government past December 3, pass a massive defense policy bill, finish out a $1.75 trillion party-line social spending bill and potentially maneuver around a US credit default.

Lawmakers to the White House: Safeguard Airwaves for Science

House Science Committee leaders are asking President Joe Biden’s council of science and tech advisers to write a report on ways to protect and boost spectrum access and quality for science and operational uses.

How lawmakers use letters to get their way

In the era of email, lawmakers may dash off a couple letters a week to other parts of the government. Often, the missives are little more than press releases on congressional letterhead; the occasional smart letter, however, can work as an obscure policy lever by convincing agencies they have political cover to take on more controversial enforcement, interpret statutes more broadly and even dust off powers they've long abandoned, all without Congress taking a single vote.

Coalition Urges Senate to Swiftly Confirm Both FCC Nominees

More than 20 tech and civil rights organizations are making a joint push to ensure the Senate quickly confirms both Jessica Rosenworcel as Chair and Gigi Sohn as a Commissioner to the Federal Communications Commission.

Statement by President Joe Biden on House Passage of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act

"The United States House of Representatives passed the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, a once-in-generation bipartisan infrastructure bill that will create millions of jobs, turn the climate crisis into an opportunity, and put us on a path to win the economic competition for the 21st Century," stated President Biden.

House Passes $1 Trillion Infrastructure Bill, Putting Social Policy Bill on Hold

The US House of Representatives passed a $1 trillion bill on November 5 to rebuild the country’s aging public works system, fund new climate resilience initiatives, and expand access to high-speed internet service, giving final approval to a central plank of President Joe Biden’s economic agenda after a daylong drama that pitted moderate Democrats against progressives.

The Infrastructure Bill is About More than Money

President Joe Biden will sign the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act into law soon. In the broadband infrastructure, adoption, and affordability sections, Congress has included some critical language that lays the foundation for the broadband future we are about to embark upon. Congress lays out a critical set of challenges, principles and goals that every state and local policymaker, every community leader, and every broadband provider should embrace and evangelize.

Senators Introduce Legislation to Bypass Authoritarian Internet Crackdowns

Sens Marco Rubio (R-FL), Rick Scott (R-FL), and Bill Hagerty (R-TN) introduced the Protecting Against Tyrants by Restoring Internet Access and Yielding Vital Interconnectivity in Designated Areas (PATRIA Y VIDA) Act to build a strategy to protect internet freedom worldwide and strengthen support for technologies that allow users to evade foreign government-backed censorship and restrictions.

President Biden’s telecom picks face a growing pile of spectrum fights once confirmed

House Energy and Commerce lawmakers are offering bipartisan grumbling about whether President Biden’s executive branch is properly coordinating with the Federal Communications Commission on how to manage wireless airwaves. Their latest concern: the Federal Aviation Administration issuing warnings about possible disruption to airplane equipment from wireless carriers’ use of 5G-friendly airwaves in the C-band.